POSTS WITH TAG: vaccines

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    In her new book, The Kind Mama, Alicia Silverstone covers everything from her pregnancy to her beliefs on circumcision and vaccination. Though the book has only been out for two days, it's already got tongues wagging, as does a recent interview the famous vegan actress did with People about her parenting philosophies, in which she says she's "not against Western medicine. The problem is we’re using it as a first step for everything, even when it’s not needed."

    Alicia deserves applause for bravely putting that sentiment out there! She's right: We are far too quick to jump to conventional medicine "fixes" -- which can be disappointingly closer to temporary bandages than true cures -- for too many of our ailments.

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    A mother from Ontario, Canada is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for her family today after a Facebook photo of her 5-week-old daughter Brielle went viral. Meghan Mcnutt-Anderson's daughter contracted pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, a highly contagious bacterial infection that affects the lungs and airways that is especially dangerous in infants. In serious cases, it can cause vomiting, weight loss, pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage, and even death.

    Understandably beside herself upon learning of her child's diagnosis, Mcnutt-Anderson took to the social media site last week to post a photo of Brielle and update friends and family on the emotional situation. But she also ended up sending a warning to parents who choose not to vaccinate their children ...

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    She had to have known she was throwing herself into a world of controversy when she made her initial comments, and now Kristin Cavallari is speaking out about being anti-vaccines. What she has to say is definitely worth listening to.

    During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, she was asked about her decision not to vaccinate her son, Camden -- and host Andy Cohen wasn't about to let her off the hook easy. He said, "Kat George wants to know, 'How can you knowingly support the spread of potentially deadly diseases by not vaccinating your children?'"

    (Dude. Way to call her out like nobody's business.)

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    In light of the recent highly contagious measles outbreak, a prominent pediatrician wrote a piece for Slate about whether or not children's doctor's offices should treat unvaccinated children. The doctor writes that he profoundly believes in "caring for all people who need [him]," but says at the same time, he "profoundly believes in the importance of vaccines."

    "Personally, I draw the line at vaccines protecting against diseases that kids might catch from exposures in my office," Dr. Sydney Spiesel writes. "If parents want to withhold protection from hepatitis B or cervical and oral cancer, I think it’s not so smart, but I’ll still care for their children because not even the friskiest teen is likely to transmit these diseases in my office. Measles? Whopping cough? These are another matter. My sense of responsibility to the health of the vast majority of kids coming to see me says 'no.'"

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    Few issues can divide parents and cause fury as quickly as the debate over whether children should be vaccinated for diseases like measles, rubella, and pertussis, or whooping cough. Those opposed to vaccinations often believe the ingredients used to create them can cause autism and that a child's immune system is strengthened when he or she is forced to fight off diseases rather than be protected against them. On the opposite side of the fence, parents who choose to vaccinate their children may not always feel 100 percent comfortable with the risks that can be involved with these shots but have decided that the benefits of warding off dangerous diseases far outweigh the hazards. 

    Regardless of how you feel about vaccinations, it's difficult to dismiss cold hard facts. A new map released by the Council on Foreign Relations clearly shows the effect the anti-vaccination movement is having on children and adults in the U.S. And it ain't pretty. 

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    Despite the fact that the Center for Disease Control found no link between vaccinations and autism, the debate goes on. To be honest, I see why. So many parents of kids on the spectrum claim that their child was fine until they went in for a shot. It's a scary possibility for any parent to consider. No one wants their child to batttle any kind of hurdle, especially one that could make social and educational development difficult. Still, the facts are the facts. I think part of the reason people refuse to accept that vaccinations are safe is because they don't really understand what they risk by NOT giving their kid one. This amazing video by Penn & Teller (yes, the comics/social commenators) breaks it down expertly. (But I must warn you, it's filled with profanity.)

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    I'm not anti-vax, but there have been times when I refuse vaccines if my child is sick -- immune system compromised. I prefer spacing them out as well. No need to overload my children's system all at once. I don't mind returning to the pediatrician to stay on a vax schedule I feel is right for my family. I know all parents have their own beliefs, just like doctors do, and we all just hope we're making the right decisions when it comes to this controversial topic.

    But then there's news that when two certain vaccines are given together, your child's risk of fever increases and make us question everything again.

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    There's no question vaccines are a hot parenting topic. Whether you're pro-vax or anti-vax (or somewhere in the middle), chances are you've thought long and hard about whether to get your baby immunized. But if you've been focusing all your research -- and your ultimate decision -- on vaccine safety, you're missing half the puzzle. What about all the diseases those vaccines prevent?

    The very reason vaccines were invented was because the bulk of these diseases can be dangerous -- even life-threatening -- to your baby. The CDC estimates millions of lives have been saved by vaccines. If you still think they're no big deal, that millions of people lived through them and they're just fine, perhaps it's time to hear the story of Amy Parker, a 37-year-old mother of two who grew up with a "health nut" for a mother who refused to vaccinate her daughter.

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    "Is Katie Couric the next Jenny McCarthy?" asks an accusatory headline on The question is one some are asking after the news anchor-turned-daytime talk show host ran a lead segment on her show, Katie, about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine yesterday. Surprise, surprise -- Katie's critical look at the vax is being slammed.

    Katie had two mothers as her guests on the show: Emily Tarsell, a mother who says the death of her daughter, Christina, was caused by the HPV vaccine Gardasil in 2008, and a mother and daughter, Rosemary and Lauren Mathis, who believe Lauren developed a bizarre illness characterized by nausea and fatigue due to the vaccine. (Rosemary Mathis is now the director of the anti-HPV organization, SaneVax, Inc.) As you might imagine, these women have a serious bone to pick with the vaccine, and they're not alone.

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    I'm not an advocate for the HPV vaccine -- at this time there is no way I would allow my children to get it. But the flu shot? I'm a bit more lenient about. However, my kids do not get the flu shot, but I have. After hearing about a 19-year-year who died after battling an illness his mother believes was caused by getting the flu shot, I'm thinking more about it, and worrying more.

    Lori Webb's teenage son Chandler got the flu vaccination on October 15th and the very next day he started getting adverse reactions. Side effects from getting the flu shot often happen, but severe illness and death is extremely rare. But what exactly happened to cause this otherwise healthy 19-year-old to slip into a coma and die a little over a month after getting the vax?

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